Thursday, June 26, 2008

What Right

With the Heller case decided today, John McCain said that he thought the decision was Well and Good. Barack Obama said that he favors an individual's right to bear firearms as well as a government's right to regulate them.

(This, by the way, is BHO's game plan: assiduously avoid all issues and, failing that, take both sides. Additionally, except a vote for barring governments from confiscating firearms in emergencies, there is absolutely nothing in his legislative past that supports the former but plenty to support the latter.)

What bothers me about the way that is worded - much like the statements of many politicos in favor of the Kelo decision - is the use of the word "right" to describe a power of government.

Democratic governments have authority, sovereignty, duty, etc. They do not have "rights" per se.

One could argue that a government "of the people" collectively has rights. Since this argument is only used for the abatement of individual rights with no merit on its own, it does not hold.

Rights are to protect liberty, not to promote government authority.

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